View from Mt John

Image: Shellie Evans | ©


These tracks can be reached on foot from Lake Tekapo township.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Various: 1 hr 30 min - 3 hr Advanced: Tramping track

Mountain biking

1 hr Easy: Grade 2

About this track


Mt John Summit Circuit Track

Dog access: No dogs.

Track category: Tramping track
Time: 1 hr 30 min

The start of this track is located next to the Tekapo Springs complex. The track rises steadily up through exotic forest and then open tussock hill slopes. Mt John is fantastic viewing platform with a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding mountains, lakes and Mackenzie Basin flats. The Mt John Observatory and cafe are at the top.

Another popular option is to drive to the top of Mt John, park near the cafe and walk the Summit Circuit Track (30 - 45 min).


Mt John via lakeshore

Dog access: No dogs.

Track category: Tramping track
Time: 3 hr

Walk past the Tekapo Springs complex and follow the track on the western side of Lake Tekapo. The track climbs up to Mt John Summit Track. Descend through the exotic forest back to where you started.

Cowans Hill Walkway

Dog access: Dogs on a leash only.

Track category: Tramping track
Distance: 3.2 km

Walk from Tekapo township to the start of the track near the Tekapo Road Bridge, otherwise park your vehicle in the car park off SH8 near Hamilton Drive. The track passes through exotic forest, open tussock country and past small tarns where wetland birds may stop to feed.

Mountain biking

Track category: Easy/Grade 2
Time: 1 hr
3.2 km

You can park in the public car park on Hamilton Drive and ride uphill from there to the track start on Cowans Hill. The actual formed track is 3.2 km but to start and finish from Hamilton Drive is a 5 km circuit.

This is a shared-use track. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.

Getting there

These tracks can we walked from the town centre or you can drive the start of each track.


Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 379 4082
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   31 Nga Mahi Road, Sockburn
Christchurch 8042
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11089
Christchurch 8042
Te Manahuna / Twizel Office
Phone:   +64 3 435 0802
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   15 Wairepo Road
Twizel 7901
Postal Address:   Private Bag
Twizel 7944
Back to top